Usually, items and situations are taken at face value. To recognize symbolism takes quite a sharp mind. Even with the quick mind, some still will not catch complete meanings of certain symbols. Symbols tend to stand for only one thing. They will stand for life or death or anything you can imagine. Sometimes, it can be seen that symbols can stand for more than one thing. William Golding finds a way to make a few of the symbols in his novel mean two things. In Lord of the Flies, Golding writes of a pig’s head, an island, and a fire that can have two very different meanings. Golding was born on September 19, 1911 in St. Columb Minor, United Kingdom. His parents, Alec and Mildred Golding, expected much of Golding from a young age. Golding’s
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Throughout the novel, there is an ever-present fear of a “beast”. Jack thinks that the beast can be subdued with an offering of a pig’s head. For Jack and his tribe, the sow’s head is safety. In their minds, the pig’s head will protect them from the beast. Green states, “…Jack, whose instinct tells him the beast must be placated, erects a pole in the forest with a pig’s head stuck on top of it as an offering. Simon, walking alone, stumbles on this totemic emblem, buzzing with flies, and instantly, instinctively, knows it for what it is,” (Green).
Simon finds the pig’s head in the forest, and the Lord of the Flies speaks to Simon through the head. Although the whole exchange actually happens inside of Simon’s head, it appears to Simon as if the pig’s head is grinning at him and speaking to him. Golding writes, “’What are you doing out here all alone? Aren’t you afraid of me?’ Simon shook. ‘There isn’t anyone to help you, only me. And I’m the Beast.’ Simon’s mouth labored, brought forth audible words. ‘Pig’s head on a stick.’ ‘Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!’” (Golding 143). The Lord of the Flies, while speaking through the sow’s head, taunts Simon. The head is symbolic of evil, lurking inside of even seemingly harmless things.
This evil inside of the pig’s head